Browns Backers clubs have the opportunity each year to apply for a $2,000 grant through the Cleveland Browns Foundation to enhance the charities that they support in their communities. Over the last seven years of the BBW Grant Competition, the Foundation has contributed over $40,000 to Browns Backers charities around the country.
Every Browns Backers club was eligible to apply and had to fill out a detailed application profiling their involvement with the charity, the types of programming the grant would fund and how it impacts their community. The BBW department then narrowed the competition down to six finalists. They were then reviewed by a panel of judges from the Browns organization and the top three were awarded grants.
The first 2011 grant recipient was the Burnt River Browns Backers from Mentor, OH and their charity, the Cleveland Police Athletic League. PAL interacts with over 10,000 inner city Cleveland area youth between the ages of 5-21 annually. They provide mentoring, athletics, career preparation and special events to these participants. It is the only program that offers daily interaction between the police officers and area youth. Burnt River partnered with them and hosted a pool tournament that generated a $2,300 contribution earlier this year. The grant money will help support the PAL’s continued efforts.
The Fostoria Browns Backers, based in Fostoria, OH, received a grant for their charity, the Geary Family YMCA. Specifically, the Geary Family YMCA started special needs programming and have made accommodations at their outside playground. However, the one missing piece was an ADA combination swing, costing over $4,000. The Fostoria Browns Backers will use their grant money to help fund this new playground apparatus, specially designed for handicapped children.
The final grant recipient this year went to the Dallas Area Browns Backers from Dallas, TX and their charity, the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund. Texas residents were faced with wildfires that caused more than $78.1 million in damages to agriculture and destroyed over 2,000 homes. To help fund the 30,000 volunteer firefighters that comprise 77% of their fire service, the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund supports these efforts by providing equipment, water, food and fuel. Dallas Area Browns Backers fundraised all year and donated over $1,400 to the fund on their own. Their $2,000 grant will help continue supporting the efforts of the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund to generate awareness and support for Texas volunteer firefighters.To get more information on becoming a Browns Backer or joining a club, email BBWnews@clevelandbrowns.com.